A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way

In my last post, I covered the stress that many high school seniors, my daughter included, are feeling at this time of year. What I didn’t mention was the stress we’re under as we prepare for the next step in our lives as parents.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we’re planning on moving out to SoCal too, which means there’s work to be done. Let’s take a quick look at everything we have to deal with over the next 8 months:

  • We need to get the house ready to sell. There’s a ton of work to be done on it, so this will be no easy task.
  • I need to work on finding a job out west. I’ve got options, so while it’s not the thing I’m worried the most about, the timing is putting stress on me. For the right job, I’d go out now ahead of the rest of the family, but the thought of missing out on the rest of her senior year has me second guessing how much effort I should put in to the hunt right now. Leaving for CA early would also leave more of the burden of the house prep on my wife.
  • My current job is fairly demanding, most tech jobs are. I love what I do, but for the next 8 months, I need to find a way to better balance my workload against what I need to get done in my personal life.
  • I’ve got a side project, a start-up, that I’ve been trying to work on in my free time (what little there is). I launched it in May, but haven’t been able to spend the amount of time I’d like to improve it. I absolutely need to find more time for it.
  • We need to get through the application season. Most of that’s on her, but we find ourselves needing to push her occasionally. We’re also having to push her on scholarship/grant applications, but with everything else going on, it’s been a bit hard to stay on top of. See the previous post about deadline stress.
  • We’ve still got the whole college decision ahead of us after application season is over. If she gets in to multiple schools, we’ll have to sit down and have a more detailed talk around how we balance a school that fits her vs what the financial picture of each looks like.

And you know what all of this means in the grand scheme of things?

Absolutely nothing.

What matters is that we’re all healthy. We’ll get through this, we always do. As much work as it represents, I’m fine with it all, bring it on.

To me, that seems like an odd thing to say, and it may seem just as odd when you read it. The main reason I feel this way? I have a constant reminder of perspective; my best friend from when I was a kid. We grew up together, but I moved away in 5th grade, and after that we kept in touch sporadically over the years. The past year or so has been pretty hard on him and his family, as he’s been fighting cancer on and off for the past 11 months, with this latest round being rather serious. Rather than repeat what’s on his CaringBridge site, I’ll just link it here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/darrenhay/mystory

My daughter and I were in Baltimore when my mother let me know about this latest round, and it’s weighed pretty heavily on me since then. I’ve had the privilege to watch my daughter grow up these past 17.5 years, something he may not get to enjoy if the treatments don’t stop the progress of the disease. As a father, and as a friend, that eats me up inside. Unfortunately, I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out how to help him and his family. I’ve always had a hard time knowing how to handle situations like this. Being on the opposite side of the country sucks in this case, so for me, helping them means trying to help them in their efforts to raise money to pay the bills. I’ve given, and plan to continue to do so, but what i’d ask is that if anyone reading this would like to help out (or know someone else who would), please feel free to visit his YouCaring page:

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/fight-with-darren-/87057

This (asking publicly for help) isn’t natural for me. We have our own forms of giving on a personal level, but I rarely ask others for help. This, however, feels different. I certainly hope that I can help get the word out there in an effort to help them alleviate some of the financial burden.

I can’t even begin to imagine the stress they’re under. What we’re going through is nothing by comparison.

Fight on, D, don’t let this thing beat you…

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One thought on “A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way

  1. Pingback: A Long Overdue Progress Update | findingcollege

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